Thursday, October 05, 2006

10/5: 1. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

I've been a fan of fencing since I was kid, and even dabbled in it for a while.

I've been collecting fencing scenes since I first got a VCR - the marvelous duels between Basil Rathbone and Errol Flynn, the duel between Rathbone and Power in Mark of Zorro, the duel in rhyme between Jose Ferrer's Cyrano and his victim...from television the fight in The Avengers episode The Correct Way to Kill, the duel between the Man in Black and Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride, etc. etc.

There's a lot of bad fight scenes out there, too, of course. The duel in the first Pirates of the Caribbean between Sparrow and Will Turner (Depp and Bloom) was great, the three-opponent duel in Dead Man's Treasure, in particular on top of the rolling water wheel, was just stupid.

Anyway, that brings me to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005). It was worth seeing once, I suppose, but the only part I really liked was the battle scenes at the end with Tilda Swinton's White Witch coming after first Edmund andt then Peter.

I liked those scenes, and wish I could capture 'em for posterity, but my DVD screen grabber can't quite do it.

Anyway, one problem with fencing scenes is like the problem with dance scenes - the fighter's whole body should be shown, not just close ups of whirling swords, etc.

I will say that I did find Tilda's fight scene frustrating in one way more. At the very end, she sees Aslan coming, knows she's running out of time, and yet she still has to do the damn flourishes with her sword. She's got Peter on the ground at her mercy. First she pins one arm. Fine - kill him. But no, then she has to pin the other arm. Fine. Now kill him! But no, then she has to lift up her sword, do a couple of flourishes before bringing it down - and in that time Aslan jumps on her and saves the day!

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